Life Between Lives: Revisiting Your Soul’s Purpose

By Rhonda Leifheit

In the cycle of death and rebirth (also known as reincarnation) the soul’s journey includes a visit to our spiritual “home” to review the life just lived and prepare for the next. Spiritual traditions around the world refer to this heavenly place using various terms. Western spiritual traditions often use the term “inter-life”. Buddhists refer to it as “the bardo”.

The concept of having a pre-birth plan naturally evokes many questions:

Did we plan the major events of this life, even the difficult ones?

If so, why did we make certain choices?

These questions cannot be addressed by the conscious mind alone, nor understood through a simplistic explanation of karma or cause and effect. But they are powerful questions to ask when one is ready to inquire more deeply into their soul’s journey. We just need to ask these questions from a high enough perspective—one that allows objectivity, clarity and compassion.

Lee came to me for a past life regression. The issue that most bothered him was why his soul chose to be born into a body that developed Type 1 diabetes as a child. It meant he could not pursue the careers he felt most drawn to—military or police work. He felt stuck in his present career. In order to advance he would need more education. The real problem, he acknowledged, was “I feel defeated before I start.”

As the regression progressed, a specific garment stood out. It was a woman’s dress, black, heavy and sturdy. As he put the garment on, he observed his past life self as a thin female with fair skin and brown hair worn in a bun (a stark contrast to his sturdy frame in the present). Here are some highlights from that regression.

R: Where are you?

L: I’m standing in a field of yellow flowers.

R: What else?

L. I see rolling hills, and a farm with a two-story house and white picket fence.

R How does it feel to see that?

L: Familiar. Empty though.

R: What happens next?

L: I hear popping, like guns in the distance. And there’s a man who’s no longer here.

As Lee stayed deeply focused on the images, I suggested he/she go back to an earlier point to see what happened to this man. She sees only a photo of the two of them.

L: I’m wearing black. He’s wearing gray—a uniform. He’s shaven….I’m aggravated at him—the uniform is the reason he left…His purpose is ignorant—why did he have to go and take this photo, when he could just stay? This is how I feel every day. I feel bitter.

R: Let’s move forward in time, to see what happens later.

L: I’ve aged significantly. Still wearing black….time has passed and nothing is different.

She dies, only slightly less bitter than in the early years. As Lee lets go of the past life, we travel to the spirit realm between lives. This is where the soul has the opportunity to see that life from a higher perspective; to see what lessons were learned and what wounds or limiting beliefs might be carried forward to the present life.

While a first-time session rarely gives time enough for a thorough exploration of the soul’s purpose, Lee made some important connections.

R: What was your greatest disappointment?

L: Being alone.

R: And what was your greatest strength?

L: Adapting to being alone. I learned to let go of the bitterness, but not completely. That uniform really bothered me….Even though I was alone, I still had myself. Looking back I felt stronger. I was more self-sufficient. I shouldn’t have blamed him. I could have used that energy for improving me!

There was something profound in this realization: the emotional wound created by being alone in that life also became a source of strength. Mark Epstein, in his book The Trauma of Everyday Life puts it this way: “Trauma is the way into the self, and the way out” (15).

Lee’s perspective broadened further when asked why he chose to be male in this life.

L: I have an understanding of him and what he did—it was about service and honor—to protect that house and the woman and family.

R: What about why your soul chose to be diabetic in this life?

L: I get the feeling this keeps me where I need to be—with my family—like I’m home. I (probably) would have done the same thing (gone into military service). I need to be there and not abandon them.

We then came back to address his tendency to feel defeated before he starts something new.

L: I blamed him for not being there and by him not being there I felt I couldn’t accomplish anything. Instead of blaming him I could’ve improved myself. I always had an excuse. It was like self-punishment or needless suffering. I didn’t have to die alone or make the house a mausoleum. But I chose to, to my detriment. In this life I have what she never had. I have good opportunities and am still making excuses.

It’s important to note here there was no shame or guilt about past choices, just a clear-headed “aha”. This is one of the gifts of seeing life from the soul’s perspective, where ego judgments are suspended, and higher truth prevails. He was able to take a bold yet compassionate look at the beliefs and feelings he had carried from the past. The I Ching or “Book of Changes” puts it this way: “Your own past attitude has allowed the damage to occur, making you uniquely equipped to repair it” (Wing #18).

Lee had the clear realization that this life affords new possibilities and opportunities. He understands it is his responsibility to use those to make healthier choices. Additionally, by choosing to experience the limitations that diabetes would present in this life, he also has the capacity to stay on track with his soul’s intention to be there, day in and day out, for his family. Devoted, rock solid.

He was able to reframe the situation and see a meaningful purpose for the condition that had seemed to be a curse. In a follow-up email Lee wrote: Thanks again for your help. I still face the challenges of feeling defeated but now I have some perspective and (can) logically explore why I’ve been my own biggest obstacle. Since my (regression) my perspective on the illness and (feeling) defeated before I start have dissipated to being like speed bumps as opposed to boulders on my path.

Works Cited

Epstein, Mark. The Trauma of Everyday Life. New York: Penguin Press, 2013.

Wing, R. L. The I Ching Workbook. New York: Broadway Books, 1979.

Note: Client names have been changed to protect their privacy.

First Published Sep-Oct 2014 Pathfinder News.

© 2014 Rhonda Leifheit – All Rights Reserved